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half on october 7 possible ??

Monday, August 13, 2012

I was never athletic until i started running in April 2011 (at the age of 59). i have always had a problem distinguishing hypochrondria, wimpiness, and laziness from pain.
Back in March, when my long runs were up to about 7 miles (at about 12:40 min/mile for long runs), i signed up for the royal parks half marathon – with Lizalot and her daughter – as a charity runner for Oxfam (committing to raise at least 300 £). by June 3, I was up to 10.6 miles (all at slow increases, never more than 10% a week), at slighly under 12 min/mile. On June 4, my hip started to hurt during a run to a group run … at the end of 5 k, i gave up and walked (limped home).
I've done what i was told, seen the doctor, the PT, a sports doctor, followed instructions, stopped running for 3.5 weeks twice (because the first time the pain started up again). diagnosis is tendonitis of the gluteus medius. walking caused discomfort as well (but not using my ancient nordic track ski machine, which has no impact because you never lift or put down your feet ).
so 3 days ago, i ran again, so to speak: 10 min at 30/30 intervals. no pain or even twinges while running, some twinges later. 2 days after that, 15.5 min, at the same intervals, no pain or twinges while running, somewhat more twinges later.
i don't care (much) about my time anymore. i'd like to do a real walk/run pace with a reasonable amount of running, but mostly i want to go and do it and finish it, regardless. also fundraise more rather than having to pay the balance myself (and feeling i have to offer to repay the people who made contributions, although i'm sure most will say no).
i do understand that i have to stop running at any point that i feel pain or even more than slight twinges. and that if that happens, i can't run the half (though maybe i could walk it). what i don't know is if it's realistic to even try training to run for it – it's 8 more weeks, and i'm running 2.5 k right now (but i have kept up cardio and ST and i am stronger than that): is there any possibility that i can get my distance back up to 10 or 11 miles in that amount of time without re-injury? what kind of schedule would make sense. and is it likely i can try at any point to move my running intervals higher than 30 seconds? if my long run is a run/walk for a given period and a walk for the rest ???
i know none of you are my doctor or my PT or my coach. this race is very important to me, but so is being able to get back to running regularly and healthily. what do you think is reasonable to try – or unreasonable to try?
(cross posted to blog and running teams)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is a tough one, my lovely friend. You are so dedicated and compassionate, I know you never want to give up. So, I think you should first, talk to your doctor to make sure it is safe to do so and second, listen to your body. You know best what you can do.
    Best wishes, my friend!!
    2441 days ago
    Listen to your body, sometimes you end up doing more than you expected and sometimes less. I am in a semi similar situation, I am down to running intervals because I can't run more than 2 min without pain. Stretching helps a lot with that though. Good luck!
    2441 days ago
    I don't have any suggestions, but do want to say that I think that you've done a great job of listening to your body and taking care of it so far, and I'm sure you'll continue to do so. Though I hope you'll be able to do your half, I know you'll do whatever is best.
    2443 days ago
    I think it is one of those situations where you really just have to get out and try it to see what you can do (assuming your doc said it is OK to run?). I think getting your mileage back up to HM lengths in just 8 weeks is certainly possible but without re-injury may be more difficult. I can only comment on my own experience - I went from 3 miles to 15 in 8 weeks, with a week off to let rest what turned out to be an early case of runner's knee. But during that time I also beefed up my ST to help with the knee (which really wasn't bad but I didn't want it to get worse). In your case, with already having a definite injury, it might be more difficult. If it were me I'd give it a try but keep incorporating more walking than running, especially if your goal is just to finish and not set a personal best time. But I also have a tough time with impulse control and doing what I should instead of what I want lol.

    On another note, where is the race located? I'll be about ready for another HM by that time and I haven't had much luck yet in finding races over here.
    2443 days ago
    You might want to try a longer walk interval....maybe 30/45 or 30/60 and see if you still get the twinges. You may just need to keep the running short, but if that can keep you going...then it's worth it.
    I do 30/45 for my long runs and usually for my shorter runs, too.
    2444 days ago
    Everyone has given excellent advice here, so I won't (can't) add any more. I'm sure you can walk/run it, walking more than running preferably. Don't force the training, stay reasonable. I'm pretty sure I won't be running all of it, but crossing the finish line is the most important thing for me. I'd love you to be there too! (And if, by the rottenest of circumstances, you weren't there, I'd run for you too!)

    Hugs and courage
    2445 days ago
    i like this comment:

    "What we are is in our blood. Writers write because they must; runners run because it's what makes them feel good."

    and that describes both of us - we write, and we run. i think you have good advice here - assuming your doctor says ok, train in the smallest increments, saving the real long run for the real thing, and keeping your fitness level up. it makes a difference being as light as you are now, and judging from my own experience this time around, we don't lose as much fitness as we think from the downtime at this point!
    2445 days ago
    I'm leary about giving advice, but I can tell you that, having been a very similar situation, it was doable for me. I've been struggling with some injuries for almost a year now - mainly piriformis trouble and also some disc trouble. (And I'm 48 and relatively new to running, by the way.)

    Last year, at about this time, I had to cut back considerably my training for a planned walk-run HM scheduled for late October 2011. I had to take some 2-3 week breaks to recover from the pain, but when things got better, I focused on maintaining fitness. I would do 3 or so moderately intense cardio workouts a week, but generally kept the length of the workout under 60 minutes (e.g., 1 30, 1 45, 1 60 minute workout). And I worked on ST. And I also included some leisurely walks (e.g., wandering around NYC) that were longer than somewhat longer than one hour but did not involve significant pounding on the ground because my pace was so moderate.

    My goal was simply to finish the HM without significant discomfort. And I did better than I'd hoped. I didn't experience any lingering pain, and I managed to run about 6 miles and walk the rest (generally, a run-walk ratio of 1:2) for a time of 2:57 (including a 5 minute potty break). And I had a great time.

    For me, probably the most important thing I did from a training (or non-training) perspective was skip the long, slow workouts. I decided that I was at greater risk of injuring myself before the race by trying to do workouts of more than about 70 minutes. Every time I did a week or two of such workouts, I ended up injured. Since I wasn't going to push the pace on race day, I figured my body could handle one, long slow "run" (i.e., the race) better than multiple long, slow training runs. That strategy paid off in the sense that I made it to the start line and crossed the finished line with a decent time and no exacerbation of my injury.

    Now, as I train to do the same HM (and some shorter races), my usual approach (when I'm not dealing with back trouble) is to limit my running to every 3rd day, so I have a 9-day cycle (instead of a 7-day cycle). I do a run-walk workout on day 1, a cross-training plus ST workout on day 2, and a rest day on day 3. For my long, slow workout (which gets up to about 75 minutes), I do a combination of running, walking and elliptical - in order to reduce aggravation of my lower back and piriformis trouble.

    You might try something similar. Also, if you like swimming, you could consider doing some "long slow runs" partly in the pool (by swimming or treading water), partly running and partly on your Nordic Track. The LSR at the level we work out at isn't so much about pounding the pavement as training our bodies to exercise for a long period of time - the type of workout isn't as important as the time.

    I hope this works out for you and you get to do your race!
    2445 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 7:22:39 PM
    I am really not qualified to say.
    With that caveat...I think what I might try in your shoes (hee) would be to continue what you have just described doing, increasing gradually at an interval of 2-3 days, for the next 8 weeks...and pull back immediately at any signs of recurrence. In other words, your own sort of "training" to fit you. See what happens. If you have issues, you can always walk it. No shame. You are amazing! emoticon
    2445 days ago
    I think you could try some long training sessions.... I mean longer runs putting emphasis on the walk breaks... make them longer if that helps... jog at a comfortable pace 30s-1m and then walk a full minute or more; and see how you feel... don't despair; there is still time and you are in good shape... by that I mean you have been running for a while and are very light... that is a great advantage... If possible do water running you will reap the cardiovascular benefits and reduce greatly the risk of worsening your injury... if anything, listen to your body... you know if you can keep up or not.... in any case at the worst you can walk the half marathon...

    I know how important this is to you... remember all that happened before I did my half? I finished even taking long walk breaks... I actually did more walking than running that day, I'm POSITIVE you can do it too... there are always more races to come anyways... just trust yourself and go with the flow...
    Many emoticon from South Carolina...
    2445 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 6:40:31 PM
  • AMYB1985
    I believe that this is more about what you NEED than what you can handle. I think you can do this because you want it badly, you feel people are counting on you, and because you are a runner. What we are is in our blood. Writers write because they must; runners run because it's what makes them feel good.

    So you may have to walk large chunks of the half. No matter how slow you think you are, you are still lapping everyone sitting on the couch. If I were there I would walk every single step of the way with you, without a single day of training. As it is I'm guessing that's out; but I'll stand beside you in spirit and cheer louder than anyone else at the finish line. And I KNOW the other runners will be there at the end cheering you on too because runners are quite the caring community. They want you to succeed.

    Go for it!
    2445 days ago
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